“You will never be able to work on larger problems until your team becomes competent at the smaller problems,” I repeated. “You can never be promoted to a higher level role until you find someone to take responsibilities in your current role.”
“Yes, but who?” Drew replied.
“That’s for you to decide. In addition to making sure that production gets done, as a manager, one of your primary roles is to build the team.”
“You mean like team building?”
“More like a talent scout, except you get to observe all the time. Here are your levers.
- Task assignment (what, by when, resources)
- De-selection (if you made a mistake in the first step)
“Okay,” Drew hesitated.
“Start with selection. You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. You can’t pick your friend’s nose, but you can pick who is on your team. That’s where it starts. If you do this job well, the rest is easy. You do this job poorly, the rest is miserable.”
“But, sometimes, I feel like I don’t get to pick who is on my team. They just sort of show up from HR,” Drew protested.
“Candidates may come in sideways. I know your hiring protocol. HR does a great job at trying to source candidates for your production team. I know your manager screens those candidates and several other people conduct interviews and give you their feedback. But, at the end of the day, you pick. As the hiring manager, you have, at a minimum, veto authority as to who is on the team.”